By now you should have gotten used to the phrase Hybrid. It is not just a SharePoint thing, but of an IT thing that all platforms have moved towards. The idea of Hybrid really comes down to the combination of On-Premises and Cloud Service working harmoniously together.

There are many public services that fall into this category, public services, private services and then those that combine together to form the Hybrid approach. SharePoint is one of these, over the past few versions the idea behind Hybrid has become of the normal based on the new feature sets that Microsoft has released within Office 365. Some of the components they release just couldn’t be pushed down to On-Premises because of the component design and potential other services that they need. In reality when you own the stack from top to bottom you can build whatever you need, when you then try to uplift and bring back to an environment where you may not own the stack it makes it very complicated.

So I suppose the question would be, what are the core things that Hybrid offers?

Hybrid helps any organization to utilize existing components while extending out to the cloud and consuming newer services that normally not be available.

To achieve the Hybrid model and gain some of the benefits listed about the core architecture for Office 365 and SharePoint On-Premises needs to be understood.

The core logical design is about connecting your On-Premises Active Directory with the Azure Active Directory that is available. This ensures that accounts are synchronized and licenses from the cloud services can be assigned. Once done then the On-Premises environment needs to be connected through standard network connectivity.

This will allow for a single sign on flow that will allow end users to seamlessly move between the two platform with ease.

Okay so you went through the pain of setting up Active Directory Connect, synchronized your account, big deal, what do you get now?

SharePoint Online, provides great services that work really well for cloud only users but what would be useful is to have some of these services available to On-Premises users and allow interaction with On-Premises data.

SharePoint On-Premises configured in Hybrid mode, brings the following services:

Bringing features like this, to On-Premises will have two effects. It will potentially extend the life of the On-Premises Solution or it will speed up the process for migrating to the cloud as the new features will cause a desire for newer and better services that are not available On-Premises.

With Microsoft creating and launching new services all the time, the Hybrid SharePoint model will only get better and become more standard as environments are built and upgrades are performed. With Microsoft Ignite starting this coming week, we can clearly see that Hybrid anything is a big topic and one that is here to stay.

Yes, that’s 492 sessions that talk about Hybrid, if we narrow it down to just SharePoint then we can see that there are 75 sessions that will talk just about SharePoint and Hybrid together.

I would like to suggest that Hybrid is the future for those that do not or cannot move fully to the cloud yet. Take time to watch some of the sessions and see what Microsoft has to say about the future of Office 365 and Hybrid deployments.